Life of rescued elephant calf in the balance - official

2016-02-22 18:10
(Picture via YouTube)

(Picture via YouTube)

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Durban – There is half a chance that a rescued elephant calf will survive being separated from its herd, an Elephants Alive official has said.

The calf, affectionately named Amanzi, fell into a holding dam near the Phalaborwa Copper Mine on February 16 while drinking water.

It is believed the herd of elephants were in search of water due to the current drought crisis. A video emerged on social media showing the rescue being conducted.

Speaking to News24 on Monday, Elephants Alive spokesperson Dr Michelle Henley said the calf, which was just days old when rescued, had been rejected by two neighbouring herds.

"After he was rescued, mining workers Johan Bezuidenhout and Quenton du Plessis attempted to introduce Amanzi to the two nearest breeding herds. Unfortunately, he was rejected by both.

"We were called in to help when the little fellow seemed to be in serious need of attention due to severe dehydration and exhaustion. We raced him to the nearest facility, the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre."

According to Henley, Amanzi had endured many traumas.

"Elephants are highly social and this particular one suffered from heat exhaustion and rejection from two herds during his rescue. We also have to get his diet right. The formula is important because they can get diarrhoea easily."

Henley said it was important to ensure that there was a rotation of staff feeding the animal.

"Elephants tend to get very attached, very quickly. This can lead to depression and death. So we have to rotate who feeds him to ensure his survival."

Henley said it was common to see the big five in the area because it was near the Cleveland Nature Reserve. 

Read more on:    polokwane  |  animals

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